Even as courses in subjects like biology and French offered under the Advanced Placement program designed and sponsored by the College Board gets ready for an overhaul starting 2012, the proposed changes in the history curriculum have been pushed back by another year, reports The New York Times. The deferment is primarily because of lack of clarity on what the new curriculum should include.
The A.P. Program, under which high school students in the United States undergo rigorous education in chosen subjects, often leading to advance undergraduate credits from participating colleges, has been under review for some time.
Subjects like biology and history have been under attack for presenting overwhelming volumes of content as they try to incorporate current developments in the field. This has allegedly encouraged rote-learning among students and underemphasized analytical thinking and application.
In the face of the above criticisms, the College Board has been rethinking the existing curriculum in a variety of subjects and is ready to roll out the revamped biology courses in the academic year 2012-13.
However, its proposed new curriculum in history has met with objections from teachers who feel that it lacks clarity and is too broad. In order to place more emphasis on early history (1491-1607) and the modern period (1980 - present), the content pertaining to the period in between has been reduced to make it rather fuzzy and even inadequate for students to grasp many subsequent developments.
Even though 85 percent of teachers in the United States have indicated in a survey that the changes proposed are on the right path, the College Board has said that it would continue to revise the design, layout and clarity till at least 90 percent of teachers were happy with it. Board officials expect to be able to implement the new history program in the Fall of 2013.